Saturday, October 15, 2022

Happy to Hate and Kill

Last week, various media around the world reported about a Palestinian doctor, Abdullah Abu Tin, who was killed by an IDF sniper. What they did not report is that while his profession may have been healing people, his hobby - in which he was engaged at the time he was killed - was shooting at Israelis. And one can tell what kind of person he was by looking at the pictures that he posted on his social media account. One in particular show him smiling as his children pose with guns. This is someone who raises his children to be happy to kill innocent people.

Many of us take such things as further examples of how we are morally superior to the Palestinians. Personally, I would like to believe that we are indeed morally superior as a society overall. However, I'm worried that we are losing ground. Because a very similar picture was just posted by the rising political star Itamar Ben-Gvir:

Now, some people will immediately point out that there is a significant difference. Abu Tin's kids are presumably being taught to be excited at the prospect of killing innocent civilians, whereas Ben-Gvir's kids are being taught to be excited at the prospect of killing terrorists. 

But is this difference all that significant - and is it even true? Killing terrorists is something that we need to do and should be proud to do, but it should not be presented to children as a fun activity to be excited and happy about. And frankly, it seems very likely that Ben Gvir and his ilk teach kids to be happy about killing all Arabs, not just terrorists. Remember, this is someone who had a picture of Baruch Goldstein displayed in his home. It would be naive to believe his claims that he has reformed from his even more extremist past.

And then there is Ben-Gvir's political partner Betzalel Smotrich. I was horrified the other day to see a prestigious rabbi in the Anglo religious-Zionist world, associated with Mizrachi and HaKotel and other such institutions, declare his support for Smotrich, and proclaim him to be an example of a "true Ben Torah." I don't suppose that fans of Smotrich will be persuaded that he is problematic due to his extreme racism and likelihood for rashly leading Israel into political and security disaster. But how can they think that he is a "true Ben Torah"? This is someone who condemns religious Jewish politicians with whom he has political disputes with the most disgraceful language, and declares that they should be banned from davvening in shul!

The aforementioned rabbi claimed that there are many example of great figures in our history who talked in such ways about their opponents. That is undeniably true, but to the small extent that they talked in such a way, it detracted from their overall greatness. Smotrich doesn't have any greatness, and such hateful rhetoric defines him - hating Arabs, hating gays, hating religious Jews with different political views.

The rabbi also claimed that "most of the [Zionist] Gedolim support Smotrich." Now, I think that many of them support him reluctantly rather than whole-heartedly - they certainly don't behave in the way that he does. And even if they do support him, so what? There is simply no way to parade Smotrich as a "true Ben Torah." Saying "but the Gedolim!" is something for charedim who take the (non-traditional) approach of negating one's own brain, not for Religious Zionists.

The strangest thing about all this new religious Zionist support for far-right politicians is that it's all so unnecessary. This isn't the 1990s. There is no major political party or politician - certainly not Ganz or Lapid - who is either likely to, or even remotely interested in, ceding territory to the Palestinians. After the Second Intifada and the consequences of the Gaza withdrawal, the Left wing in Israel is finished. There are no significant differences whatsoever between any of the main political parties with regard to national security. For a change, we have the luxury of voting based on other considerations - voting for those who care for the country rather than power, economic improvement, preventing future national disaster by encouraging charedim to give their children a basic education. Why give up that opportunity to make important improvements to the country, just to promote people who thrive on hatred and don't think or care about the consequences?

 

(If you'd like to subscribe to this blog via email, use the form on the right of the page, or send me an email and I will add you.)

72 comments:

  1. You say that there is no reason to support someone more right wing than, say, Ganz, because you say there is no worry that anyone will hand over more land to the PLO or other terrorist organizations.
    However, you are missing a couple of important points, possibly due to lack of contact with people outside the anglo-RBS bubble.
    1. The current govt, like the previous one, had allowed arab construction all over area C. Giving land away to terrorists IS happening. Talk to people who live in Yo"sh. Maybe the is aren't being kicked out of their homes, but their homes are becoming less and less safe, thanks to a policy of turning a blind eye to illegal Arab construction.
    2. There are terrorists all over the country, and the current and previous governments did not take the necessary action to stop the revolt which is getting wore every day. My daughter's friends from Be'er Sheva are terrified to walk around at night. Arabs with Israeli citizenship continue to amass illegal weapons, with no repercussions. The roads in the Negev are literally set on fire by Bedouins regularly. Jewish farms all around Israel are torched. I don't think people should be teaching children to use weapons, but, in the current security situation, Ben Gvir might be doing the smart thing.

    Comparing teaching kids to defend themselves and other Jews to teaching kids to massacre innocent Jews is highly inappropriate. But it matches your apparent ignorance of the reality outside the RBS bubble.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also, this part of Rabbi Slifkin's post is disconcerting:
      "There is no major political party or politician - certainly not Ganz or Lapid - who is either likely to, or even remotely interested in, ceding territory to the Palestinians. After the Second Intifada and the consequences of the Gaza withdrawal, the Left wing in Israel is finished. There are no significant differences whatsoever between any of the main political parties with regard to national security. "

      Yitzchak Rabin also made campaign promises that he wouldn't negotiate with Palestinian terror groups, and wouldn't negotiate a withdrawal from the Golan. But he did both of them anyway.

      Even Sharon said when he became PM that "what a person sees from here is not what he sees from there" (=when they're just a Knesset member).

      Gantz or Lapid as PM will certainly have pressures from both within the Knesset as well as from Europe and the US to make territorial concessions.

      Delete
  2. "There are no significant differences whatsoever between any of the main political parties with regard to national security. For a change, we have the luxury of voting based on other considerations - voting for those who care for the country rather than power, economic improvement, preventing future national disaster by encouraging charedim to give their children a basic education."

    You have answered your own question. Because security concerns have taken the backseat (this is almost certainly mistaken, but that's the consensus view), ideological conflicts between religious Jews and secularists are becoming more pronounced. Nationalist Religious Jews see an opportunity to wield state power against the secularists (this is also illusory). They think that to the extent that Charedim can be bought off, why not buy them off? Nationalist religious parties are becoming more truly nationalist (Jewish) and religious. This is an ethno-national conflict, a zero-sum game. There are no long-term scenarios where Palestinians and Jews - or religious Jews and secularists - live in harmony. As you don't want to admit this and vote in your interest, why not openly support the secularists? I'm sure they would be happy to throw you a bone by letting some of your children keep Shabbat in the army.

    Your objection, which is essentially economic, is not persuasive. It happens to be that a charedi unskilled underclass to replace the Arabs would not be a bad idea. Someone's going to have to do construction work. Certainly more useful to the country than the Tel Aviv bloatware scam.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Jews aren’t ‘inherently’ better or different than anyone. The reason we developed a softer approach to life and nationhood was because we were powerless and dispersed among the nations for thousands of years. When we had a nation and power we had no shortage of civil war, murder, evil tyrant leaders and other sins. And the longer we become accustomed to being a nation and people with power like all others, the sooner and more closely we’ll adopt traits and behaviors like others. I’m not saying we’ll be worse, I’m just saying we won’t necessarily be better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. kol hakavod. Needs to be said.



      mark

      Delete
    2. JTF and Hilltop Youth supporterOctober 24, 2022 at 3:44 AM

      Defeating your enemies, especially in the case of genocidal enemies, is a good quality to develop, not a bad one.
      Becoming accustomed to losing to them or giving them the continued hope that they will eventually prevail, is something no one should be willing to sacrifice in the interest of "behaving nicely"

      Delete
  4. Well - to be fair to both pictures, we are inferring a lot. End the end for Abdullah Abu Tin - his kids are holding toy guns - which I imagine are more common then we would like both in Israel/Palestine and the USA.

    For Ben-Gvir's kids - it is clear that the photo was taken in a video game arcade.

    To infer that either of these parents are doing any political indoctrination from the photos you shown is an example of fitting the evidence into a prejudicial perspective, rather than a dispassionate evaluation of the evidence as presented.

    Not that I am trying to defend either person.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your overall points are well taken, but another big difference between the photos is that the Ben-Gvir photo is of his kids playing a video game.
    For better or worse, those types of video games are very normal in the U.S.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Had you lived during the time of Purim you would have claimed equivalence between Haman and his Jew-hating supporters on the one hand and Queen Esther and her supporters on the other.

    ReplyDelete
  7. "hating Arabs, hating gays, hating religious Jews with different political views."

    There is no mitzvah to hate the former, and a prohibition to hate the latter, but regarding the middle, Dovid haMelech has this to say:

    הלוא משנאיך ה' אשנא ובתקוממיך אתקוטט תכלית שנאה שנאתים, לאויבים היו לי (תהלים קלט:כא-כב).

    Seems like after all this time you've spent out in the cold, the woke values are starting to penetrate. You seem to be shifting now from Religious Zionist to Leftist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gay people have a yetzer hara that most other people don't. They need help overcoming it. Do you hate people who drive on Shabbos or do you recognize that they're likely tinokos shenishbu and try to be mekareiv them? Do you hate people who speak lashon hara or do you set up mussar shiurim to help them? It's time to stop treating this as somehow different than any other sin in the Torah.

      (By the way I mean that in both directions. Obviously a claim that mishkav zachor or any related derabbanans are allowed has no place in Judaism.)

      Delete
    2. It's worse than that. He's saying you should hate people who have THE URGE to break shabbat even if they don't. Because that's what gay people are - people who have the urge to do forbidden actions whether or not they do so.

      Delete
    3. CY, I agree with you 100%. Nebach they are sick with something most of us do not have to deal with. But they should try to work on their Yetzer Harah, not promote their sickness as normal!

      I don't really know too much about Smotrich, but the conservative agenda is generally against gay rights, and pointing out that those with such tendencies are NOT to be idealized. I would be just as indignant if someone were to accuse those fighting against pedophiles, or people promoting chilul Shabbos or any other aveira as being haters too!!

      The problem is that Leftists such as Avi and the doc don't seem to get the difference. They are not saying that we sympathize that gays are nebach sick. They are saying that we should allow them to behave openly immorally, and that there is in fact nothing wrong with them! In fact, they accuse those opposed to them as being sick!!!

      ויקרא פרק יח
      (כב) וְאֶ֨ת זָכָ֔ר לֹ֥א תִשְׁכַּ֖ב מִשְׁכְּבֵ֣י אִשָּׁ֑ה תּוֹעֵבָ֖ה הִֽוא: אַל־תִּֽטַּמְּא֖וּ בְּכָל־אֵ֑לֶּה כִּ֤י בְכָל־אֵ֙לֶּה֙ נִטְמְא֣וּ הַגּוֹיִ֔ם אֲשֶׁר־אֲנִ֥י מְשַׁלֵּ֖חַ מִפְּנֵיכֶֽם: וַתִּטְמָ֣א הָאָ֔רֶץ וָאֶפְקֹ֥ד עֲוֹנָ֖הּ עָלֶ֑יהָ וַתָּקִ֥א הָאָ֖רֶץ אֶת־יֹשְׁבֶֽיהָ!

      ומלאה הארץ *זמה* כמים לים מכסים!

      Delete
    4. @CY

      The reason why this is treated as 'somehow different than any other sin in the Torah' is because it is somehow treated as such by Hashem! It gets a special shout-out as an 'abomination', carries a severe death-penalty, and comes along with a nice little warning that behaving as such will cause the Land to reject us as it has to the nations that lived there previously. Also, Chazal teach that homosexuality was the straw that broke the camel's back and caused the Mabul (Bereishis Rabba, 26).

      Delete
    5. There are other settings which are also called תועבה, since which religious Jews are inhabit for committing, such as cheating on taxes

      Delete
    6. Are gay people any more sick than someone who has a yeitzer hara for a different sin? Straight men can have a taavah for eishes ish, a more-or-less equally bad sin (ok, yes, sekilah vs. chenek), which gay men will never have.

      You probably know the Gemara in Yoma about how they tried to get rid of the yetzer hara for arayos and learned that the flip side is that that yetzer hara is what enables the world to continue. Maybe the yetzer hara for mishkav zachar conveys some kind of advantage to gay men too. Not being gay, I'm not in a position to figure out what that might be, but I'm waiting for the day a gay tzaddik gamur does.

      Delete
    7. CY, what are you understanding?!?! Would you say that pedophiles should be enabled to start a movement pushing for pedophile rights??!! Straight men shouldn't be allowed to do eishes is either but since we live in a secular society, that will never be enforced. But how in the world can you bring a "ra'aya" from that?! There is no justification in normalizing behavior that the Torah calls an abomination and warns in especially strong terms, and teaches is what caused the Mabul!

      I understand that people may have the 'urge' the same way some have the urge for eishes ish. If you feel that all immorality should be legalized, maybe you should start a movement pushing for the abolition of marriage, such as some far left anarchists here in the US do. After all, it restricts people's yetzer hara to behave completely immorally!

      Delete
    8. I don't think immoral behavior should be legalized. As I said: mishkav zachar is forbidden, as are all associated derabbanans, and that will never change.

      What I'm saying is that someone who has a yetzer hara, even an unusual yetzer hara, and acts fully in line with halacha is a tzadik gamur. That really should not be controversial.

      I'm also saying that there is a reason Hashem created some people with this yetzer hara. Obviously, that reason is not so that they should do something forbidden, but other than that I don't know what the reason is. I suspect that only a gay tzadik gamur is in a position to figure it out.

      Delete
  8. We are morally superior to the Palestinians. The Israeli picture is kids playing at a hobby place. There is no relation to it and the Palestinian photo about a mad doctor and his kids shooting innocent people. =

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ben Gvir des not want to kill all Arabs, Only the bad ones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. so why did he have a picture of the terrorist Goldstein on his wall, does he think that Goldstein only killed "Bad Arabs"? Or does he think that all arabs are "Bad Arabs"?

      Delete
    2. Not going to defend his having a picture of Baruch Goldstein on his wall. That’s wrong.

      But Michael Sedley do you honestly think that because he hung that picture up that he would be happy to kill all Arabs as the author of this blog blithely impugns?

      I don’t. And I don’t really think you do either. In which case your question is a distraction from the issue.

      Delete
    3. Ben gvir, as a lawyer, is a slippery nasty racist. He says he is only against the 'bad arabs', but then points out in other forums that you can't tell a good Arab from a bad Arab, and therefore...

      Delete
    4. Michael Sedley I could agree with you but you should ask, is Goldstein really a terrorist? One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. Perhaps Ben gvir thinks Goldstein is a freedom fighter killing arab terrorists? You got to give him the benefit of the doubt. Not defending Goldstein.

      Delete
  10. Both the doctor and Ben Gevir are patriots of their respective nations. People, who have taken your land are not innocent civilians. This is all very simple and the inability to see things for what they are is a common malise of the Jews. Teaching kids to use guns is perfectly appropriate under any cirumstances, but escpecially when living in a conflict zone. Human evolution is a non ending struggle for survival and nothing has changed that. Smotrich and Ben Gevir, while not necessarily believing in evolution, understand the realities of living in Israel.

    RNS is quickly progressing to becoming another Avrum Burg.

    ReplyDelete
  11. The moral equivalence (or worse) here is embarrassing (if not much worse). And it speaks to this peculiar drive defenders of Israel have to equivocate- often expressed with the almost inevitable "Of course, Israel isn't perfect..." Why?

    But I'll just focus on the fact that Smotrich is, according to this post, not just a racist- no, he's an *extreme* racist! Oh no! And he's a hating hater purveyor of hate!

    Really, that language is so tired and needs to disappear from public discourse. It's long passed ceased to have any meaning.

    But as a point of interest, what's your stand of what Mizrachi and Bnei Akiva did to Smotrich a little bit back? Are such things forbidden for some but allowed for hatey hating extreme racists?

    ReplyDelete
  12. When the word terrorist is used to describe a man who fought against soldiers conducting military occupation activities, it loses some meaning. There is no evidence this man ever targeted non combatants. He died fighting against soldiers of a foreign occupation army who has entered an overwhelmingly Arab city and I find it hard to argue with him for doing so in any objective notion of just war.

    It's also important to set the context to the operations in Nablus. Israel's security partners, the PA, are being muscled out of the city by the PIJ. The IDF are intervening to prop up their allies, and it is obvious they learned the lessons of their laissez-faire approach to the take over of Gaza by Hamas, without which we would not be having this conversation.

    -


    Yes, the fitful wars with Gaza are important to why people feel the way they do, but religious Zionism and their Gedolim (and let's not pretend that he doesn't subscribe to Gadol theory, albeit with different Gedolim like Faucci) do have to take their responsibility.

    Only now is the Rabbi Doctor slowly discovering that not just a minority but the majority of the national religious community share a common identity based on hate. It pervades Bnei Akiva, the schools, the yeshivot, and the Seminaries. The moderation and plurality of views, the appreciation of Western knowledge, the instinct towards humanity, and the first hand knowledge of what it means to be oppressed slowly slipped away throughout the 1980s.

    -

    The Rabbi Doctor claims there is nothing a centrist government could do differently to a Smotrich one. That is patently wrong. They could clamp down on Jewish terrorism, they could enforce Israeli law and destroy illegal encampments, and they could politically support their allies, the PA, rather than denigrating them and making them look like weak sellouts and stooges.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shut up. You're not Jewish.

      Delete
    2. I'm sure you speak for many in your visceral rejection of the truth. However painful you find listening to the views of diaspora Jews, not listening to the moderate majority will be worse.

      -

      Today is the last day of Chag. Over the course of this Yom Tov sacrifices were offered for the 70 nations of the world, and it is only through this basic universal humanity that we can move on to Simchas Torah, where the uniqueness of the nation of Israel is celebrated.

      Delete
    3. Don't play dumb. I am a Diaspora Jew as well. I am not Zionist and Ben Gvir does not concern me. I am referring to when you admitted that you don't adhere to the Jewish faith!

      http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2022/09/the-relevance-of-assassination.html?showComment=1664460644258#c1873345958867016808

      If you don't believe that Israel is the Land promised to the Jewish people by Hashem, then I don't think too many people here could care less about your political opinions about it!

      Delete
  13. It is truly frightening how the most extreme vile elements of the Religious Zionist community have grown in support and project themselves as the legitimate voice of the Religious Zionist community as a whole.

    The idea of a government with a cabinet that includes terror-supporters like Bin Gvir, Racists like Smotritch, not to mention the anti-Gay (and anti-Women) Noam party is truly terrifying.

    I have always proudly identified myself as Religious Zionist, however in recent years I have been embarrassed and horrified by people who claim to represent religious-Zionist values and even had the chutzpa to call themselves "The Religious Zionist Party".

    Unfortunately the global trend to radical extremisms is also in the process of destroying traditional values of the Religious Zionist community

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 100%, Michael Sedley. What a sad end to religious zionism. Rav Kook must be in tears.

      Delete
    2. Rav Kook, and any Rav, would think Noam's policies on gays and women were disturbingly left wing. Homosexuality was illegal in Israel till 1977, and should be today. If it's good enough for Ben Gurion, it should be good enough for you.

      Delete
    3. Let's just put this in perspective shall we? If Bibi gets in, the major party will have at its head a guy accused of 3 serious crimes, plus several other MKs accused or convicted of crimes. That's about 30 MKs with ni moral spine The other 30 will belong to parties whose leadership have also been convicted of various crimes and are all from the more extremist spectrum of Israeli religious society. They advocate ignorance and poverty (the haredi parties), or hatred of arabs and homosexuals (the religious zionist parties). In short, the most foul government you can imagine.
      Yeah, I think Rav Kook would weep.

      Delete
    4. Which Rav Kook? Rav Kook the elder had dreamy, anarchic politics, for example delighting in the secularist student revolts at his old alma mater Volozhin in letters to his father in law. Rav Kook the younger was far more of a statist.

      Delete
    5. Gavriel - There is absolutely no proof that Rav AY Kook was particularly RW. And though he may not have approved of policies that were against Halacha, he did find room for lulimud zchus for the aceoliros of his time. In fact, the criticism of him back ten had little to do with Zionism and more to do with his seeing positive value in maskilim heretics, mechallelei Shabbos. That exploded when he published his Orot.
      Accordingly, the idea that he wouldn't reach out to modern day secular is simply unfounded.

      Delete
    6. Michael Sedley
      The religious Zionist mistake began a long time ago. RZY Kook downplayed some of the broader ideals of his father and played up others. The result is that Religious Zionism lost it's ideal of a moral high ground and it became the same secular nationalism of other nations though being practiced by religious people. Rav AY Kook specifically disagreed with this. RZY rejected any later outside ideals that his father had not dealt with. There is no reason to think that R AY would have agreed. RZY approved of Meir Kahana, but one notices that Meir Kahana did not quote Rav Kook much. That's because it's not from the same beis medrash.
      Religious Zionism lost me when they merged with otzma a few elections ago. I don't view Otzma is a legitimate expression of Judaism. Within Rav AY Kooks Torah, I find ways to work with the most secular leftists. I do not see him compromising and working with violence and hate.

      Delete
    7. 100% koilel nick

      Delete
    8. What makes Ben Gvir (the shabak plant) or Smotrich "supporters of terror"? Please bring concrete proof.

      Delete
    9. @kollel nick

      It's true that Rav Kook had ideas about hilonim that (objectively speaking within the context of Jewish tradition) are quite strange and novel. But he never wrote a single word about loving sexual deviants, for a very simple reason: back then even the biggest mechalel shabbos thought gays were disgusting. In fact, if you look up any enlightened Rav of the past 200 years you will find that they thought gays were repulsive (JBS was particularly effusive). It's your assumption that if Rav Kook was alive to day he would update his views to comport to the latest version of hiloni ethics. That's speculation, I can theorise that if Rav Kook was alive today he would accept that Judaism had been disproved and eat shrimp, or, conversely, he would realise his error and become Charedi. Who knows? But the actual Rav Kook who existed would be perplexed as to why Noam weren't calling for gays to be put in prison.

      Delete
    10. Gavriel -
      You connflate action with tolerance. Rav Kook found spiritualism in atheists. That didn't mean he would endorse chillul Shabbos. So eating shrimp is not on the table.

      The prospect that Judaism is any more anti Gay or than it is anti Atheism or Avoda Zara is not founded. You are adding the "disgusting" factor which is not really well sourced in Judaism. It says toeiva more times about avoda Zara than it does about gay intercourse. Furthermore, Noam's spiritual leader has shown his inability to see life clearly. His backing of Walder shows his inability his disconnect between his theories and reality. To Rabbi Tau gays are bad, but if Haarerz blows open a story of a rapist, back the rapist. So I'm not taking any moral criticism from Noam.

      But we are also getting side tracked here. The post is about RW violence. It's about DL using Rav Kook as an icon for extreme right wing politics for which there is no source that he was one. Rav Kook was building a nation, not giving post national political positions. It's a different concept.
      If we look to Rav Kook we see that he worked with פושעים, and he was willing to see positive of Atheists. The idea of chilonim today are worse than the last generation was said by RZY (way before the modern explosion of secular sexual morals), not by Rav AY Kook.




      Delete
    11. @chana see ben gvirs legal defending jewish terrorists a d his public statements abiut jewish terrorists. Smotrich's too.

      Delete
    12. You can't just arbitrarily restrict the debate. The claim is that Noam betrays the legacy of Rav Kook by being anti-gay, but for the entirety of Rav Kook's life, homosexuality was a literal crime, and there was cross-societal acceptance that gays were anti-social deviants who should be ostracized from society, so objectively Noam are far more liberal and tolerant than Rav Kook.

      As for violence, when haShomer haTzair was systematically razing arab villages using techniques borrowed from the Soviet Union, Rav Kook wasn't complaining. In fact, a big part of the reason he thought hilonim were so holy and special was that they were willing to be more violent than religious Jews.

      Delete
  14. “ And frankly, it seems very likely that Ben Gvir and his ilk teach kids to be happy about killing all Arabs, not just terrorists.”

    What do you base this very damning accusation on? Seems like someone who himself was tainted by the wild accusations of others should be a little more sensitive before doing it to others. Luckily you still have hoshana raba to do teshuva.

    ReplyDelete
  15. "it seems very likely that Ben Gvir and his ilk teach kids to be happy about killing all Arabs, not just terrorists." Wow. That's quite a condemnation and affirmation of guilt without factual evidence to back it up. Neither Ben Gvir nor Smotrich have said anything like this. They have suggested it might be a good idea for Arabs to accept Israeli sovereignty and/or citizenship. But they have NEVER suggested genocide. Sheesh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So why did he have a picture of Baruch Goldstein in his living room?

      Delete
    2. Ben Gvir admits that he used to want this. He claims that he's changed his mind. https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/elections/2022-09-06/ty-article/.premium/kahanist-lawmaker-visits-high-school-i-dont-think-we-should-kill-arabs/00000183-137a-d0bd-a5d7-177f84ff0000

      Delete
    3. https://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog_entry/ben-gvir-responds-to-bennett-fine-ill-take-down-baruch-goldsteins-picture/

      Delete
    4. So Rabbi are you admitting that you were wrong and shouldn’t have made that statement in your post? Your link says the opposite of what you claimed. Integrity demands that you withdraw or modify what you wrote.

      And who exactly did you have in mind when you wrote “ilk”? In absence of clarification I’d have to assume that it refers to the many thousands of Israelis who will be voting for him. What a broad brush? Disgusting

      Delete
    5. Ben Gvir's claim to have changed his mind, on its own, deserves as much respect as Yaser Arafat's 1993 claim to respect Israel's right to exist. A simple wish to blunt opposition from those who find those views repugnant would explain making such a claim.

      I am not saying that it is impossible that he has changed his mind, just that simply saying he has is insufficient to show that he has.

      Delete
    6. JTF and Hilltop Youth supporterOctober 24, 2022 at 3:41 AM

      On the basis of Arafat's ridiculous claims, while simultaneously continuing to carry out terrorist murders, and saying the opposite in Arabic language interviews and media, they gave him refuge inside of Israel with his terrorist thugs and provided them weapons, money, and sovereignty over wide swaths of land and cities while promising and paving the way to potentially more future sovereignty for he or his organization.

      So I guess we have to take Gvir at his word that he's no longer a Kahanist, and also that he dropped other views he held back then which Kahane never taught, regarding killing arabs. Otherwise pretty hypocritical to doubt recanting of views when it's convenient, no?

      Delete
  16. In 1992, the same "no difference on security" argument was made when the choice was between Shamir and Rabin, so people voted based on things like the US loan guarantees to help absorb the wave of Olim from the former Soviet states. Rabin won, and we ended up with Oslo and all that followed .

    Not saying I'm in favor of Netanyahu returning - far from it, in fact. However, you are being a bit too blithe in you're statement that there's no security difference between the two sides.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sure, time to bann King David as well for decapitation Goliath. Especially since Goliath was already on the floor and neutralized. In fact let's bann the Torah as all its full of violence against the enemies of Am Yisrael. Slifkin a d his leftist buddies are "morally superior" after all

    Ssvi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So now anyone who disagrees with Ben Gvir or Smotrich is a "leftist"?!

      Delete
    2. Anyone who isn't for Bibi is against Bibi and therefore a dangerous extremist left-winger. Beware the evil left!! You have been warned!!!

      Delete
  18. I find it difficult to discern how your mores have anything to do with Torah Judaism

    ReplyDelete
  19. What a comparation! hamavdil bein kodesh l'chol.
    I will give my vote with simcha to Ben Gvir

    ReplyDelete
  20. And frankly, it seems very likely that Ben Gvir and his ilk teach kids to be happy about killing all Arabs, not just terrorists.

    Would you daven with Ben Gvir? Even though you clearly don't believe he deserves the benefit of being taken at his word? Pathetic...what happened to being דן לכף זכות?

    The strangest thing about all this new religious Zionist support for far-right politicians is that it's all so unnecessary. This isn't the 1990s. There is no major political party or politician - certainly not Ganz or Lapid - who is either likely to, or even remotely interested in, ceding territory to the Palestinians.

    This is reminiscient of Romney indicating Russia as the US's primary geopolitical foe, and Obama responding that the 1980's "they're now calling to ask for their foreign policy back." Let's hope your rose colored view of Israel's security situation ages better than Obama's naivete.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Let's hope your rose colored view of Israel's security situation ages better than Obama's naivete."

      RNS didn't address the security situation. He addressed the security policy of the candidates.

      Delete
    2. I consider left-wing "let's hope peace breaks out" fantasies to be part of Israel's dire security sitation.

      Delete
    3. "I consider left-wing "let's hope peace breaks out" fantasies to be part of Israel's dire security sitation."

      Which left wing? Labor and Meretz at some ten percent of Knesset seats? You're panicking about a small minority. Lapid and Ganz are not far left wing peace dreamers.
      (Oh by the way, both Deri and Gafni are leftists.)

      Delete
  21. I am pleasantly surprised to learn that Rabbi Dr. Slifkin can actually be consistent in his treatment of all his ideological opponents. In the past, it was clear to me that he deliberately went soft on his own religious Zionist camp and exclusively went after chareidim in pursuit of his personal vendetta against them.

    But as "Frank" and "Topshot" have just discovered, this post shows me Rabbi Slifkin can be equally misinformed, lacking historical perspective, hyper-generalizing, assuming the worst about people's motives and beliefs, and generally underestimating the sincerity and moral power of religious convictions of non-chareidim as well as chareidim in his criticisms.

    I guess people can change after all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous at Oct. 18,22 at 9:26 AM. דן לכף זכות but at the same time כבדיהו וחשדיהו.

      Delete
    2. @kornreich
      Thank you for proving that you at least do not act like a Talmud chacham...
      רמב"ם הלכות דעות: משאו ומתנו של תלמיד חכם...אם נתחייבו לו אחרים בדין מאריך ומוחל להן ומלוה וחונן ולא ירד לתוך אומנות חבירו ולא יצר לאדם לעולם בחייו כללו של דבר יהיה מן הנרדפים ולא מן הרודפים מן הנעלבים ולא מן העולבים.

      Delete
    3. That RNS is detached from reality is evident by most of his posts. This is why there is no reason to read this blog now that it has turned from academic and scientfic topics to politics.

      Delete
    4. @not a fan:
      Is that the best you can do? Just lable people who call out Rabbi Slifkin for his gross mischaracterizations of whole communities as someone "not acting like a talmud chacham"?
      Seems a little weak to me.

      Delete
    5. Not all people. Just you.

      (Better?)

      Delete
    6. And honestly, I think his characterizations are quite on target.

      Delete
    7. A little better. ;)
      And honestly, I think you also suffer from the same lack of historical perspective and underestimation of the sincerity and moral power of religious people's convictions as Rabbi Slifkin does.

      You probably view yourself as morally superior to all earlier generations of Jews because you've accepted the smug self-aggrandizing, conceited, condescending idea that modern civilization has progressed beyond the 'primitive' notions of biblical and talmudic morality.

      How utterly sad.

      Delete
    8. Utterly wrong. I view myself as superior to the current generation of haredi jews because they have abandoned biblical and rabbinic judaism and morality.

      Delete
  22. This has nothing to do with Ben Gvir and everything to do with attempting to undermine anyone who may enable chareidim to join a coalition. RNS nice try!

    ReplyDelete
  23. JTF and Hilltop Youth supporterOctober 24, 2022 at 3:35 AM

    If you can't see the difference between Ben Gvir and Abu Tin, you've seriously lost your mind.
    And this is even if we take at face value the promotion of Ben Gvir into this monstrous rightwing Kahanist maniac persona (when in reality he's a nobody lawyer and just like all the other "rightwing" compromisers-for-peace).
    The difference between the real Ben Gvir and Abu Tin is so stark that you are giving credibility to those who accuse you of being a leftist lunatic. Where did your common sense go?

    ReplyDelete

Comments for this blog are moderated. Please see this post about the comments policy for details. ANONYMOUS COMMENTS WILL NOT BE POSTED - please use either your real name or a pseudonym.

The Heresy of Noah's Crystal

Following on from last week's post about the ban on "Peshuto Shel Mikra," let's discuss an example of the purported heres...